Stewartville teens ask the city to develop a skatepark

STEWARTVILLE – “We have a dream,” Parker Campbell said. “We might as well make it a reality.”

Parker, 13, is one of the leaders of a group of boys who are working with the town hall of Stewartville to build a new skate park in the city.

The boys – there are several kids involved in the project, but along with Parker, the group is led by Garrett Colligan, Callan Mayzlik and Emmit King – first asked about a skate park in Stewartville last spring, said Audrey Colligan, Garrett’s mother. But no, they told the boys, the town doesn’t have one and hasn’t had one for many years.

And that, Audrey Colligan said she thought, was that.

But last May, the boys were skating near City Hall and decided to walk in and ask if the city could build a skate park.

Parker’s mother, Krystal Campbell, had worked with the city when she started her childcare business in town. So he knew the city could make things happen. And Emmit’s grandfather is Stewartville Mayor Jimmie-John King.

Garrett Colligan, 10, of Stewartville, jumps off his scooter Friday, April 1, 2022, at Meadow Park in Stewartville.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

The advice the boys got from the two: if you want a skatepark, show the city why it’s a good idea.

This led to the boys taking their case to the Stewartville Park Board and City Council. They also pitched their case to organizations in the area to raise funds for the project.

So far they have raised $5,000 and will receive a donation from the Toast and Taste Community Fundraiser held on March 25.

The whole project will cost around $45,000, said Audrey Colligan. This will include excavating the old Meadow Park tennis courts, pouring concrete over half the area and seeding the rest.

“One of the best parts of it all,” Krystal Campbell said, “is that they learn to show why it’s important to them. Learn to speak in public.”

The boys did well. Parker noted that now they often skate around town on sidewalks, sometimes dangerously near busy streets. Plus, when they can convince parents to take them, they’ll visit skateparks in Rochester, Eyota, or even LaCrosse, Wis.

Meadow Park once housed a skate park many years ago, Krystal Campbell said. It was just where the boys – and the town – would love to see a new one.

This former skate park has been replaced by tennis courts, which have been covered by a course for remote-controlled cars.

If the city can build a decent skate park, Parker said, they’d probably spend more time in town, skating safely in Meadow Park.

And, her mother noted, perhaps the Stewartville skatepark would become another destination for skating enthusiasts.

“We want them to have a safe place to skate and ride the streets,” she said.

To help spread the word, the parents have created a Facebook page which can be found by searching for “Stewartville MN Skate Park”. The group has nearly 100 members and provides updates on progress.

The city, Krystal Campbell added, has opened an account for the funds donated for the project. So anyone who wants to contribute can call City Hall at 507-533-4745.

This Facebook page drew around 20 people to the park on Friday night to show off what the skate park could be like.

“It’s literally what it would be like when it was done,” Audrey Colligan said.

Stewartville Ice Rink
Sixteen-year-old Alexander Colligan and 14-year-old Cambden Mayzlik cycle Friday, April 1, 2022, at Meadow Park in Stewartville.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Stewartville Ice Rink
Cynthia Campbell, 2, of Stewartville, adjusts her helmet as Chloe Ann Mayzlik, 4, of Stewartville, pets her dog Rambo Friday, April 1, 2022, at Meadow Park in Stewartville.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Stewartville Ice Rink
Children ride scooters and bikes Friday, April 1, 2022 at Meadow Park in Stewartville.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

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